Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Jogi, father of Tapasya and husband of Divya.
The name has a meaning.
Don’t know who named this character Jogi. But it’s apt.
The synonyms for Jogi in Samantar Kosha (a Hindi thesaurus) are


Naming a character is a strange process…
A conscious decision .. or… and unconscious one…. Mohan Rakesh named protagonist of Adhe Adhure as savitri, who unlike mythological savitri, is eager to get rid of her husband.

In popular movies, Deewar has Vijay and Jaychand. Vijay stands for victory and Jaychand for betrayal.

Then we have interesting names of characters in Sholey.*
The name Gabbar Singh was taken from a real-life dacoit. Salim’s father was a DIG in Indore and he heard stories of Gabbar who plundered around villages around Gwalior in the ‘50s.

Soorma bhopali was someone Javed knew from Bhopal.

Veeru and Jai were the names of Salim’s college friends and Thakur Baldev Singh was his Father-in-law.

So we have Jogi in Utaran, and I don’t know who did the namkaran.
But I like the name and the character.

Before I write about Jogi Thakur of Utaran, let me share with you a small poem written by some Arvi sagii.

I tired to find about him on internet, but could not find much. He was an Estonian poet.

In one of the episode yet to be aired, there’s a poem recital competition. In the screenplay, Ichchha got a famous poem of Wordsworth, “Daffodils.”

The other unimportant characters had none.

(When I say unimportant, please don’t misunderstand me.. In my opinion every character in a play, TV series or a film is equally important.
Or else it will have no space in the screenplay.)

So …. I had to give 2 more poems to other kids…Not so important characters, so to speak. One poem was an obvious choice… Shakespeare’s sonnet…

And the second one was lying in my cupboard for years.

By the way I have not read Wordsworth or Shakespeare.

I had bought a magazine from an old paper mart. It was a Russian magazine. Russian literature is quite cheap. And after the globalization, it’s cheapest in the kabadiwala’s shop. Let’s not get into the international politics…. I hardly understand it.

When I shifted to my new house, I had to get rid of Raddi… I got rid of the magazines, but removed the 3 pages with four poems of Arvi…

While writing the episode I remembered one of the poems and I thought why not give one character this poem…

I knew she was not going to get the screen space. Still..

Then I searched the poem in the bookshelf and included it in the episode…

You may not find worth noticing it in the episode so I am putting it here on my blog.


Arvi Siig

Translated by Diana Russell

Please don’t be so somber,
My daughter.

Yes, that endless rain….
The eyes of the woman in food stores..
like flowers in cold wind faded…
The depression spread
by a communal kitchen
with the rules of behaviour nailed on the wall..

And this makes me also….
But come,
let’s ring up the sun.

You’ll tell me the phone booth
In our street is out of order,
And in the next one
Someone’s broken the receiver,
And that even the enquiry service
Does not know the sun’s number…

But don’t you really know
How to call up the sun?

Someone only
Has to press a thumb three times
On the tip of your classical nose.

Just like this.

I read it again and again….

I feel its Jogi talking to Tapasya…. Let’s ring up the sun.. to cheer her up…

In the initial episodes, I used to find Jogi difficult to write, because it was difficult to relate with him. He was there and not there. But slowly as the story moved, I could see him, his past… and relate with him

And now when a scene between Jogi and girls comes, I am charged. I try to make it as real as possible. In one of the scene when Jogi neglects Tapasya and she angrily leaves, I felt Jogi should have responded. But he didn’t. As a father he should have immediately addressed the problem. But he didn’t because as of now he is dealing with his guilt of killing Damini’s husband.

Tapasya is right and she has every right to feel neglected. If your father has a past and he is trying to deal with it, why should a child suffer?

These days I feel more concerned about Tapasya. One of my friend, Pratishtha says, “I would never want to be in Tapasya's place. To have to share a father's love is unthinkable. It's painful. I can feel her pain, and her anger. I would never share my dad with anyone. But that is not a choice Jogi has. A past mistake ties him down to his destiny, and his child's. “

also said that if my father had done something like this to me, I would have ……

In one scene when Jogi tries to explain Ichchha how easy it is to learn English, I thought of comparing number of alphabets in Hindi and English. Unfortunately I remembered the number of alphabets in English but not in Hindi, though my primary education was in Hindi language in Madhya Pradesh. I think as a child I could never relate to my primary school and so whatever I learnt including language was informally through magazines like parag, chandamama, dharmyug etc. So I had to go on net to find it…

What I had to do is not important……… what is important is how jogi makes things easy for Ichchha…

And I found that Jogi has lot many things similar to this little girl. He was also helped by teacher to reach this stage….

And I was also.

My father was a primary school teacher. So I had to tale help of teachers all my life.

They give me books. They encouraged me. When I took wrong decision to stop education and start working one of my chemistry teachers, Dr R S Verma, came forward and advised me not to spoil my academics.

I listened to him.

It changed me.

Like me Jog still feels grateful to the teachers.. I have no child but I see a lot of me in him.

And then I feel what is personal can become universal if it has something in it.


Dear Jogi

Love you a lot.

My relations with the parents are strained but I find happiness and solace in you.
I wish I could be like you.

You have a genuine smile and lot of genuineness, which is rare to find these days.

Though you are a fictional character yet you are real.
I feel your pain.

You look handsome in white kurta, why do you wear those suits.... They look unreal..

I wish you could sort out your relationship with your daughter.
But I know story is such you will never be able to do so..

The great nani is there to spoil the game….
And as a writer I cannot get rid of her.

But you can… Do something or else your daughter will change forever and you will have more guilt.

Par yeh nahin hoga…

She will be there and both of us will suffer.


* Sholey: The Making of a classic"

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